Tony Murphy, Ireland's member of the European Court of Auditors, has been elected president of the court for a three year renewable term.

The Dublin-born auditor will assume his new position on 1 October and becomes the 12th president of the institution.

He takes over from Klaus-Heiner Lehne, who has been President of the EU budget watchdog since October 2016.

Mr Murphy was one of five candidates from 27 member states. It is understood he held a clear lead throughout the competition and was duly elected this morning after the other candidates pulled out of the race yesterday.

The 60-year-old was appointed to the Court of Auditors by the Irish Government in 2018 following an open competition.

Tony Murphy left school at 17 and entered the Irish Comptroller and Auditor General's office in 1979, where he worked as an auditor until 1999.

He was sent as a national expert to the European Commission's Economic and Financial Affairs directorate in 1999 and later became an auditor at the directorate, rising to become head of the Internal Audit Unit in 2007.

He joined the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg as head of the private office of a court member in 2013.

In 2017, he became director of Chamber IV at the court, covering the regulation of markets and competitive economy.

As President, Mr Murphy will be in charge of the Court’s corporate strategy, planning and performance management, communication and media relations, legal matters and internal audit. He will also represent the institution in its external relations.

Based in Luxembourg, the ECA is the EU's independent external auditor. Established in 1977, it became a fully-fledged EU institution in 1993.

The Court of Auditors is the EU's independent external auditor, holding the Commission, other EU institutions and member states to account when implementing EU programmes and policies.

The Court is expected to warn of risks, provide assurance, flag up shortcomings and good practices, and offer guidance to policymakers and legislators on how to improve the management of EU policies and programmes.

Additional reporting Cillian Sherlock